I love word clouds. This one, made at Wordle by simply pasting in a URL, collects words used in this blog and reflects the frequency of their use.
My purpose in creating this one was twofold:
1. To reflect a little on some of the things I've learned now that this school year is drawing to a close.
2. To check my word choice. I tend to overuse certain words and phrases and should keep tabs on them more closely.
Both of these could be great uses of word clouds for students. I've also used one for a pre-reading activity by pasting in a chunk of text and asking students to make predictions. For a post-reading activity, students could use a word cloud as a jumping-off point for a summary of text they've read.
Additional word cloud options include WordItOut, Tagul, and Tagxedo (which can be used to create awesome shapes). What are some other ways to use word clouds in the classroom?